Rail Traffic in December 2012 Projects a Slowly Growing Economy

Written by Steven Hansen Depending on how you view the data, using rail to analyze the economy presents a mixed picture in December 2012.  Rail becomes a transporter of commodities early in the manufacturing cycle, and its intermodal movements (usually finished manufactured goods) can be used to project economic activity up to three months in …

Rail Traffic Stronger in November 2012

Written by Steven Hansen The variations and special situations associated with rail traffic continue.  In the November 2012 Association of American Railroads (AAR) report talks about one of the wobbles in this month’s data. As of November 2012, year-over-year U.S. rail intermodal traffic had risen for 36 straight months, but the 1.2% gain in November …

Rail Data in October 2012 Shows Economy Is Softening

Written by Steven Hansen The October 2012 rail data overall trend shows transport is weakening. Even the growth in intermodal traffic continues to show lower growth, and is no longer growing at a record pace. ….. Intermodal volume in October averaged 246,695 units per week, second only to June for the year. For the year-to-date, …

Rail Movements Present a Mixed Picture in September 2012

Written by Steven Hansen The September 2012 rail data can be read several ways, but the overall trend seems to show transport is weakening.  Even the growth in the “hottest” portion of rail was not as good as previous months, as intermodal is no longer growing at a record pace. ….. year-to-date intermodal volume in …

August 2012 Rail Movements: Economic Intuitive Elements Improve

Written by Steven Hansen Based on the July 2012 rail data, we warned that the economy could be at a pivot point based on declining economic intuitive elements of the rail data – and now with the August data, the rail situation improved. ….. rail carloads of motor vehicles and equipment, lumber and wood, and …